Justice S Muralidhar, whose transfer on a day he raised sharp questions on the Delhi violence case has set up a huge controversy, today announced his "last judicial act" in the Delhi High Court during a hearing.
"That was my last judicial act as a judge of this court," Justice Muralidhar said as he finished pronouncing his judgement on a case.
Several young lawyers praised him in return. "You are an inspiration," said the lawyers during the hearing in Court No. 38 of the Delhi High Court.
The notification on Justice Muralidhar's transfer to the Punjab and Haryana High Court was put out around 11 pm last night. It did not mention the usual time-frame of 14 days for a judge to shift.
Justice Muralidhar will take charge as judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 6.
The government said it was a routine transfer recommended by the Supreme Court collegium on February 12 and the judge's consent had been taken, as is the norm.
Following the late night order, Justice Muralidhar did not take up any hearings today in the Delhi High Court. A judgment was listed and after pronouncing it along with Justice Kameshwar, he left.
Justice Muralidhar was part of the bench that had asked the Delhi Police to appear today with a status report after questioning its inaction in the clashes that have claimed 32 lives since they broke out on Sunday evening.
The case is now listed before the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel.
While hearing the case on Wednesday, Justice Muralidhar had said, "We cannot let another 1984-like event happen in this country".
He had played videos of hate speeches by four BJP leaders - Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Abhay Verma and Parvesh Verma - and asked the police if they had seen the clips.
The judge asked why there shouldn't be FIRs against the BJP leaders. He told the Delhi Police chief to "seriously consider the consequences" of not registering the FIR.
When the centre argued that FIRs would be registered at an "appropriate time", Justice Muralidhar said: "What's the appropriate time, Mr Mehta? The city is burning".